Football: Ikhsan reaches 10-goal mark in Europe as Jerv move into play-off spots

Ikhsan Fandi had moved to Jerv on Oct 5.
Ikhsan Fandi had moved to Jerv on Oct 5.PHOTO: FK JERV

SINGAPORE - Ikhsan Fandi's fine scoring form continued for FK Jerv when he netted a brace in their 4-2 home win over Oygarden in Norway's 1. divisjon on Saturday (Oct 24).

In doing so, the 21-year-old Singaporean footballer has now reached the milestone of 10 league goals in Europe. The only other Lion to do so was his father Fandi Ahmad, who scored 11 goals for Dutch club Groningen from 1983 to 1985.

He told The Straits Times: "It always feels great to score, and getting to 10 is something special, but I know I can do more and get better, and I will keep working on improving in all aspects of my game, reaching the next level, and making it in a top European league.

"There is no real reason behind my scoring form, I just do my best to train well and be focused in the game to put away the chances that come my way."

With the win, Jerv rise to sixth and occupy the final promotion play-off spot in the 16-team league after 21 games.

Jerv coach Arne Sandsto said: "We are very happy to have signed Ikhsan. He is a very happy and good person who wants to work hard to be a better player.

"He is a very strong finisher with both his head and feet. As a team, we produce many goal opportunities, which suits him well.

"When he gets to know his team-mates better, both the team and Ikhsan will get even better. We believe that with us, he will improve physically and learn how to make clever moves to be stronger on the pitch and especially in the box."

Ikhsan had joined Norwegian second-tier side Raufoss last year and scored six times in 37 games (14 starts), before he moved across the division to Jerv on Oct 5.


Analysis

Nicknamed "Singapore Airlines" during his time at Raufoss, Ikhsan's career has really taken off at his new club.

He made his Jerv debut with a 15-minute cameo in a 3-2 away win over HamKam, before scoring the first equaliser in a 4-2 home win over his old club in his first Jerv start.

In their next game, he recorded another header to open the scoring in the 2-1 home win over Ullensaker/Kisa, but was a 74th-minute substitute in the 1-1 draw at Kongsvinger last week as he had a knee injury.

Restored to the starting line-up against Oygarden, he demonstrated just how important he can be, showing a poacher's instinct to turn in the ball after a goal-mouth scramble in the 50th minute, and then heading in a corner 14 minutes later.

He has now scored in each of his three starts for Jerv, netting once every 67 minutes. The Wolverines have also gone on a five-match unbeaten run since Ikhsan joined them, underlining the early impact he has made.

Goal highlight video